While I was in Tucson last week, I had a bit of an epiphany.
I am done having kids.
As in, this baby factory is CLOSED. Forever and ever. Amen.
You see, despite everything I have been through mentally and physically as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood, I have been struggling to emotionally accept a fact that I know logically: I cannot handle bearing any more babies.
I’ve said time and time again that I have no desire to have another one. I mean, shit, for awhile I was pretty set on having no children whatsoever, but then life happened. However, in the back of my twisted mind, I have always felt some sort of obligation to have more than just two children. An obligation to whom, you ask? To God, my family, my husband, and even to myself.
As part of my Catholic wedding vows, I promised before my parish priest, family, friends, and James that I would willingly and lovingly accept as many children as God asks of me. I took that vow to heart, and as a couple, James and I agreed to to follow the Catholic beliefs and practices of natural family planning. I truly believed that with enough Faith, I would have a wonderful life raising three or four (or maybe even five) little humans while selflessly practicing abstinence during fertile times if a pregnancy was not desirable in our immediate future.
Well, um, that lifestyle and practice was a huge freaking joke for us. Maybe we just don’t have enough Faith, or perhaps the Catholic beliefs regarding family planning are just a bunch of controlling bullshit (*cough*), but for whatever the reason, we failed miserably at fulfilling those vows the way they were intentionally meant in just about every way possible.
And when I say failed, I kind of mean we ate, threw up, shot the remains, hosted a wild sex party on top of, and threw birth control at all while laughing at the Catholic beliefs on making babies.
Sadly, it wasn’t for a lack of trying. I prayed like crazy, went to church every week, and devoutly volunteered my time in teaching and practicing the Catechism. I mean, not only did I attend Catholic school for eight years, but I was one of my parish’s first female alter servers, the youngest person to be elected onto the Parish Council, served seven years on said council- the last one as vice-president, taught Vacation Bible School and Sunday School for years, served on a couple other ministries, took part in a young adult faith-sharing group, and loved every moment I spent as a Eucharistic Minister.
But you know what? My religion didn’t take into consideration things like severe mental illness when interpreting the Word of God’s thoughts on birth control. Or the physical trauma I experienced when I ripped in half while birthing my first and all the prolapse I suffered after birthing my second behemoth-sized munchkin. Sure, I am as disgustingly fertile as women appear to possibly come, but the truth is, my body would probably only sustain extreme damage with birthing another one of my husband’s huge babies, and I honestly don’t think I would survive another bout of postpartum depression. I am terrified that it would be full-blown psychosis and I’d drive my car off a bridge without ever knowing I hit the ice-cold water, or that I’d be so far over the edge that I’d be nearly comatose while trying to raise three kids.
It’s just not worth the risk. For me, but even more so for my husband and kids.
Well, up until this last week, I still had this idea in my head that maybe, just maybe, I might someday be able to fulfill my wedding vows and pop out thirty-six kids like that special family you see on TV. I’m not knocking them. Each to their own. But seriously? There’s a point when you just gotta ask yourself… does God REALLY want me to just keep pooping babies out of my hoo-haw, or did He give me a brain that can handle reasoning, common sense, and logical thinking FOR A REASON?
And that’s when it dawned on me: maybe God really wouldn’t be angry with me for only having as many as I can handle. Sure, for that one family, one-hundred-thirteen kids is something they can handle just fine. For me, um, well, smart people made Prozac for a reason.
I was unable to accept that idea for a long time. The family and religious values run deep in my veins, despite what a heathen I’ve become in the past year.
But something happened this week while I was away.
I realized that I really am done having kids, and I am perfectly happy with just my two beautiful, incredible girls. I am best off not putting my body through anymore pregnancies or postpartum roller coasters both physically and mentally, and it’s healthiest for my husband and children for me to be on this earth, mentally well, and able to function. Chancing ruining their lives just so I can fulfill some unspoken and possibly unsaid obligation to God and everyone around me just doesn’t sound like something that a loving, kind God would ask of me. If some religion says otherwise, then it can just suck my prolapsed pussy.
When I realized that I felt released of this “obligation” and I felt happy about my choice to stick with just my two cutie-pies, I was ready to do the thing that my sister and I did last week: get a tattoo on my hip/abdomen.
Getting that piece of ink was liberating. A promise to myself and my body: I am done having babies, and I’m not going to worry about birth control anymore because my husband has agreed that is is time to get a vasectomy. Woo hoo! Thank you, James!
Furthermore, I owe my vagina a bit of love, so I have decided that I’m going to get it fixed.
In a perfect world, I could just accept what has happened to the damn thing and move forward. But, the world most certainly is far from perfect, and I’m in even worse shape. And my va-jay-jay… um… well, it’s a scarred, prolapsed battle zone that I know I’ll never be able to accept. Even with all the physical therapy, I will forever have problems and issues related to the prolapse. A feeling of heaviness in my lower abdomen sometimes, and this sensation that my organs are going to fall out of my body if I cough too hard. The cramps during my period are worse than they where pre-babies, and something as simple as using the bathroom is frequently interrupted by the fact that my bladder and rectal prolapse is squeezing off the flow of elimination. As I age, my pelvic floor muscles will only become weaker. Even with the lifestyle changes I’ve made to accommodate the prolapse and the daily exercises I do to keep my pelvic floor muscles in the best shape possible, the prolapse will never be cured and will only get worse with time. While there are risks involved with getting my vagina fixed, there’s a good chance that the outcome would be much, much better than what I have to deal with now.
Are you feeling a bit traumatized yet? Because if not, I AM ABOUT TO GO THERE.
So, in addition to my complaints above, there are the sexual side effects to prolapse. Sex just doesn’t feel right, and I am embarrassed by how it looks down there. I mean, I suppose it doesn’t look all that bad, but there’s a spot near my perineum where I wasn’t sewn up correctly after my first vaginal birth. The fact that it wasn’t put back together right is something that only a blind person couldn’t see… and some of that tissue has prolapsed beyond the opening. It’s always bothered me because it’s a bit uncomfortable during sex and when I’m, um, wiping down there. Additionally, the sensation of my hoo-haw just kind of sucks now. Organs protruding from where they’re supposed to be are kind of soft and gushy, and even though it’s a nice, snug fit for my husband’s penis… it feels kind of sloppy to me. Like, not loose, just sloppy. Like things aren’t in the right place… because they’re NOT in the right place. My cervix sits low in the canal, my uterus is dropped, and my rectum and bladder are falling inward and down in my hoo-haw. While sex still feels pleasurable and I can orgasm from it, it just doesn’t feel as comfortable or as good as it did before my second vaginal birth. Even with the pelvic floor rehabilitation I went through, there’s still a noticeable difference that I just hate so much. I frequently find sex to be emotionally damaging because I feel so humiliated by what a mess I believe my vagina really is.
Perhaps a lot of other women are in the same shoes I’m in, but I have yet to hear anyone else talk about it, and not a single health professional has told me that what I’ve experienced is all that typical for someone young and healthy like myself. Or maybe everyone DOES feel loose and sloppy after having babies, but somehow they can just accept it and it doesn’t bother them. Yeah, I wish, but that’s just not my experience.
James swears that it feels good in there, but said that instead of feeling like the more rigid canal that it used to be, it feels soft and there’s a lot less friction, even when I’m contracting my PC muscles as hard as I can. That’s probably a gentleman’s way of nicely saying I feel loose and yucky down there, but I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and try to believe him. Every time I have sex, I realize that while it doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of room diameter-wise in there, it does feels soft like he said. Too much lube equals almost zero sensation, even though I still fit nicely around him. It’s a sucky problem to have, and its humiliating to live with. No amount of reassurance has helped me feel otherwise.
Last night I discussed my desire to get my hoo-haw fixed with James. This is not a new topic coming from me, but it’s the first time I’ve been able to talk about it with a very clear head and with my mind made up that I am done having kids. He agreed that it would be worth getting evaluated to see if I would be a good candidate for a successful surgery, and this morning my therapist gave me a recommendation for a gynecologist that has good results with this sort of thing.
So world, not only do I have a new tattoo, but my husband is going to get his baby batter tubes snipped, AND I’m going to start making appointments to find a doctor I trust to fix the prolapse and broken vagina I’ve been burdened with.
Never in my life have I thought that I would actually consider surgery for something like this, but then again, I never thought I was going to end up on Prozac, either. Funny how that sort of thing works out, eh?
And just to give you fair warning: prepare yourselves for all kinds of TMI moments coming up on my blog in the near future. If you think I’ve been bad before, I can only imagine what kind of shit’s going to hit the computer screen next.
Current Mood: Cool